“Droll thing life is -- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself - that comes too late - a crop of inextinguishable regrets.”
-Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
When it became very clear that my beloved did not presently want to discuss any other option than separation, I finally got the message and moved out. Every step of this process was a bad step. One of many good examples was where I moved. It was only one half a mile away from her. There's plenty more to contemplate with that location and plenty of situations that occurred that I could lament over but I won't.
I think it made it harder knowing that she was in walking distance. The nights were long and painful during those six months. It was an amazing location and, for the first time in my three-legged dog's life, I started taking him on walks. (He had never enjoyed walking - I guess it was challenging for him - but I forced him because I needed to get out and walk too. Before long, he was nudging his leash my way in excitement. This was one of the few escapes I had each day - even though I also cried while walking.). The proximity was just too much for my sensitive emotions.
I never could get a clear read from the beloved through this whole process. She never showed any emotion other than her general bright demeanor. She never told me how she felt, other than that she was not going to pursue mending the relationship. She just ended it and that was that.
One night, while sitting in bed, crying, I received a text from her. I remember that it was around 11pm. The text read, "How are you doing right now?" This was shocking. I had no idea what had prompted her to have any concern about my emotions. She knew what kind of state I had been in. At that moment, I was listening to music (and bawling my soul out, of course), so I just answered accordingly. I said, "Right now, I am crying uncontrollably listening to Sam Cooke sing "I Lost Everything." I am sad, lonely, depressed, and miserable." She replied, "I feel the same way."
This is where that story hinges. It might have been one of the most important pauses in the separation. My ass-of-a-self kicked in and I immediately responded, "I doubt you feel the same way I feel." She did not respond after that.
I have often kicked myself for that. I have no idea what would have happened had I rushed down the road to her house in another attempt at restoring our love. Maybe she was asking me for that. I'll never know. This is another one of those horrible "what if" moments. It saddens me to think that I could have been so stubborn. I really didn't think she was capable of missing me or feeling 'sad, lonely, depressed, and miserable.' Maybe she wasn't feeling that way for me. Maybe she just wanted me to know that she hurt too, even if it was for a different reason. But maybe she had a brief moment where she thought, "He's right. We need to surrender to each other and work this out - for our sakes, for the sake of our children, for God's sake." But I guess she got the answer she assumed she'd get from me.
In my inextinguishable regret, I share with you "I Lost Everything" from Sam Cooke